Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Memories


I remember being about 5 years old.  We were at my grandparents house.  It was Christmas time and we were always there as a family.  My Uncle Tony & Aunt Patti would come and so would Uncle Richard (he was almost always late).  One Christmas I remember wanting some Rainbow Brite items.  The Rainbow House, Starlight, books and a few other things.

My sister and I slept in the end bedroom on the full size bed and my parents on the fold-out couch in the living room.  It was SO hard to go to sleep that night.

We never really did the Santa thing but my grandparents always put gifts underneath the tree from Santa.  Even though we didn't do that tradition, we were always thrilled by the magic of Christmas.

I woke up early Christmas morning.  I was probably 5 as I stealthily snuck into the living room.  There was a door that was kept closed during sleeping hours.  It was fairly easy to open without much noise.

Crawling on the floor toward the mantle in front of the fireplace was a challenge due to navigating around the sofa bed.  But I did it.

On the mantle was Rainbow Brite, Red Butler, Starbrite, the Rainbow House and accessories, books and who knows what else I had asked for to go with Rainbow.

That was one of my most favorite shows.  The movie came out and I went with my mom and sister to see Rainbow Brite defeat the Star Stealer.

Seeing those toys was such a treat.  I quickly went back to the bedroom and told my sister of what I had seen.  Her toys were there too, but I really don't remember what she received for Christmas.

We were FINALLY told we could come out of the bedroom.  I am fairly certain my dad read to us the Christmas Story before breakfast.  After breakfast we would watch cartoons and Macys parade.  We would be waiting for Uncle Tony, Aunt Patti and Uncle Richard to arrive.  Once the Parade was over we would sit by the big window or look at the presents on the mantle area.

I think we might have gotten to open one before everyone got there.  That way it kind of kept us contained.  Probably a wise decision.

So the anticipation is pretty high by the time Christmas Dinner is supposed to be served.  Waiting for aunts and uncles can get kind of nerve wracking for 2 little girls.  But we waited.  Thankfully we had wonderful parents and grandparents who could help us occupy our time.  Setting the table, cleaning up, food prep (what little kids could do anyways) and cartoons with Grandy were our favorite things to do.

When everyone arrived Grandy would say the blessing and we would all eat.  After dinner came the presents.  Oh I remember tearing through the gifts.  But we had to pass each person a gift first.  This made the process be a bit longer.

Then we would go to my grandparents church in Johnson City.  I loved going there.  It was a beautiful church.  The high ceilings, lights, candles, and decorations for the birth of Christ.  I remember it so well.  At the end of the service we would sing Silent Night and light our candles.  Yes, I was 5 and I held my candle.  Played with the wax too.

After church we went back to my grandparents house and had a small meal (if we were hungry) then we packed up our things and travelled the 2 hours back to Gatlinburg.

Most of our Christmases consisted of this tradition.  We did visit my dads parents in Florida one Christmas.  I got my first sketch pad and drawing tools on that holiday.  I remember drawing all the way home.  That was another of my favorite visits to family.

I want to be sure to carry on the tradition of being with family during the holidays.  We tend to not travel over Christmas (weather is unpredictable), but have on occasion.  We love to have family over for a big Christmas dinner.  Typically there are around 11 of us at our house.  It's an awesome time of family and fun.

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